The wind blows and ruffles Roger Federer’s lopsided bangs. Something is wrong. The Swiss, uncomfortable since the beginning of the afternoon, tries to tune it but the gusts of air make him disheveled again and again, a true reflection of his game and foreboding anticipation of what is going to happen in the chilling afternoon at the center: the Pole Hubert Hurkacz, a player who until now had not passed the third round of a great, replies on the back of the gusts and ends up putting the final point (6-3, 7-6 (4) and 6-0, in 1h 49m) to the journey of a man who rebels against himself, who has given everything to get here and who leaves the track amid both applause and laments because, those who sigh know it, the defeat in the rooms contains a crude implicit message: the legendary Federer is not enough.
The outcome is as harsh and ugly as it is revealing. The Swiss, who will turn 40 on August 8, arrived in London caught with pins from a competitive point of view. His body had asked him for a truce in the third round of Roland Garros and he stumbled in the first round in Halle, with very bad feelings that afternoon and without the time or filming necessary to acquire enough rhythm to think about an assault in conditions to its historic garden. He came, in any case, with the idea of regaining ground in the friendly layout that the draw for the box had given him, and hoping that his tennis would make a real click at some point. He said after passing the eighths that he finally recognized himself and raced in peace, without turning his head, but Hurkacz’s was the definitive test of cotton.
The Polish, 24 years old and 18th in the world, and who this year had fallen in the first rounds of Australia and Paris, is the first rival to endorse him 6-0 in the great British. Only the Australian Patrick Rafter (1999) and Rafael Nadal (2008) had left the Swiss blank in a set, in a scenario of maximum posh; both times it happened at Roland Garros. “It was tough, you know. The last games I felt that I could not return to the game and I am not very used to this type of situation, especially here, “he admitted yesterday to journalists, after a couple of untimely hours in which he did not feel comfortable at any time, failón with the right and without solutions against the firm exercise of the adversary.
“If it was my last game here? I really do not know. I have to sit and think, take a few days. I am very happy to have come here so far, after everything I went through. Of course I would like to go back, but at my age you never know what is around the corner ”, continued the one from Basel, to whom things turned quickly and to whom fortune turned its back this time, as when at tie-break of the second round he was going to volley and his supporting foot slipped. From there, from that moment, his leads melted and he surrendered. Two sets under and playing the ball badly, he lowered his arms and lost the bullet on which he had pinned all his hopes, the goal for which he had worked for the last year and a half, and for which he underwent a double arthroscopy. on the right knee.
Many of those present and those who watched on television feared that this parade to the dressing room could be the last frame of Federer at Wimbledon. Faith runs out. The most devout trust in the umpteenth resurrection, but facts and logic invite us to think about the twilight line. “One more year, one more year, one more year! (One more year!) ”, The stands begged him during the walk. He saved his neck in the premiere against Adrian Mannarino thanks to the injury of the French in a bad turn, and the accumulated revenues against Richard Gasquet, Cameron Norrie and Lorenzo Sonego vanished as Hurkacz – quoted with Matteo Berrettini, 6-3, 5- 7, 7-5 and 6-3 to Felix-Augger Aliassime– shook the balance and forced him to come back.
“Retiring immediately is not a possibility, it is about having perspective. You cannot climb the mountain in one go. It is not about matches, but about being a better player to be more competitive, ”explained the Swiss, who had not lost in three sets at Wimbledon since he fell against Croatian Mario Ancic on June 25, 2002, when he had not yet raised any large, none of the eight British scepters he collects.
“I need to sit down and talk to analyze what has gone well and what has not, where is my body, where is the knee, where is the mind. I’m feeling terribly exhausted right now, I could use a nap. This is how I feel, but I think I’ll be optimistic again shortly. I know how I am in these situations ”, he concluded while Novak Djokovic savored the victory against Marton Fucsovics (6-3, 6-4 and 6-4) and spotted Denis Shapovalov (6-4, 3-6, 5-7, 6 -1 and 6-4 to Karen Khachanov).
THE GAMES, IN THE AIR
Federer appears on the list of the Swiss team to compete in the Tokyo Olympics, from July 24 to August 1. However, the Swiss has not yet confirmed whether he will participate or not and after falling against Hurkacz he insisted that he should reflect. That is, for now, neither yes nor no.
“I have not decided yet. I’m going to take a couple of days and sit down; Aliassime (19th) and Hurkacz (18th).
“Wimbledon is over. I haven’t made up my mind where I’m going to go. I can’t say anything beyond that. I will think about it and I hope to announce it sooner rather than later, of course, for me and for everyone, for my family and my team ”, settled Federer, who will lose 600 points and will fall at least to the ninth step of the ‘ranking’.
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Raw goodbye from Federer